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Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:32 pm
by CarterManGod
I've always wondered if radio clusters, or individual radio ranches, don't really want their station's rated positions to change much. For instance: Say we have a location with 5-6 stations of different formats. And, say, the CHR is their highest rated station. Maybe, even #1 in the market. And, maybe, it's been that way for around 5 years or more. Then, the country station, say, sits around #3-4. (And the other formats descending variously).

Now, let's say they hire a hot new country talent, and this person really performs well. You might even start to expect a shift in listening patterns as a result, because maybe the CHR is getting stale. Is it conceivable that the station owners might not want that shift to occur because the CHR has been the 'baby' or 'gravy train?' Is it possible that the advertising shifts that would follow would be undesirable? That the community ties with the CHR are so deep that a ratings shift would screw things up?

Obviously, a station wants to out perform it's competition, but do they really want to out perform their own sister stations?

I submit that if there's any truth to this theory, that there's a real potential shadiness there. I'm not even going to go into all the little conspiracies I can predict because it might be just that.

However, if it's true- Then, if you went to work for a companies #2 or 3 station, you don't even have a chance at reaching #1 ever for that company. I've always wondered about this as I've watched, at least small- med markets favor #1 talent, or politically favored AMs & and all but ignore the other formats even if they were a close second place.

Does anyone 'in the know' of that sort of thing have the grapes to comment one way or the other here? Probably not- why rock the boat?

Re: Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:45 pm
by KaseyKruz
You're not too far off the mark. It's called "flanking" and happens all the time. The top performer is flanked with formats that won't necessarily draw great numbers but wont detract from the top performer either. The flanking station will also compete with other flankers in the market at competing clusters. More and more I am hearing cross format promos directing people to other stations in the cluster, usually the top performer, for the best ____ (fill in the genre) music.

Re: Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:39 am
by CarterManGod
So, if you are serious about having a career in radio, and you've already put in several years, it would be pointless to even look at any gig that wasn't already the top spot within a particular market-within a certain company.

And, you could be, far and away, better than your sister station's #1, but it won't matter. Everyone within the station's building could know you're the better talent, but it won't matter. And then, one day, you'll get fired for under-performing when they've been working against you the whole time.

I knew it! I couldn't understand why the execs, regional guy and PD of my last gig would lie to me constantly about the direction of this, and the 'standard proceedure' of that- when I'd been in the industry long enough to know they were full of it.

I had gotten into it, at one point, with Opie & Anthony and caused a little stir on my show- but one of their douche fans wrote a fake letter to my regional guy claiming to be a fan of my station, and also claiming that I had attacked him with homophobic slurs (because that's what O & A fans do). ONE letter, which I investigated on my own and found the actual guy on Facebook, and enough clues to call out his fraud. If I hadn't protected myself like that, there WERE going to fire me because "(Blank Company) doesn't like controversy," was their reason. Two weeks later, they hired a loud-mouth AM Conservative talk host, and the, actual, heads of the company showed up in town and were, practically, dancing in the halls repeating things like, "Love him or hate him, he's gonna stir things up!"

Meanwhile, I had already been working for the company for over a year, and never once did they even poke their nose into my studio to meet me for the first time ever, or acknowledge me as they passed my office later. I was, like, #3-4 at the time - depending on how someone wanted to translate Arbitron that day. Of course, we didn't actually subscribe to Arbitron... but here was this new guy who was never going to have a fraction of the amount of listening area that my stick covered and he was being treated like a King. When I had been hired, originally, they, literally, stuck me in a storage room for my office and didn't clean their boxes out for 3 months!

I think they hired me, at the time, because I had only cohosted prior, and they assumed I'd be a mid-pack player. Just a few months later, my show was voted 'Best Local Morning Show' by a local vote on the local TV news station. It was a 'little' big deal! My regional guy found out, didn't even raise his eyes to look at me, and mumbled, "Uh-huh," and kept on 'working' at his desk. They didn't even send out an email congratulating us, as they sent any time someone in the building wiped their butts.

No one in the building had web skills but me either in this small market hole, and they never cared about my contributions to the website either, which had made our site dwarf all my sister sites. Then, ultimately, they fired me for 'budget reasons' the day after they received their under-the-table Arbitron results, which, incidentally, showed the Urban station as #1 randomly, for maybe the first time ever-fluke (basically an off ratings period for Arbitron).

Wow! I never had a chance, and I wasn't a conspiracy theorist after all... Thanks for the education on 'Flanking.' Lot's to ponder- and even more reason to run from this biz.

Re: Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:05 am
by CarterManGod
Geeeez! Knowing what I know now about 'flanking,' I probably signed my own death warrant! I was never cocky, but I did try to inspire a little friendly competition within my building with my sister station friends by always letting my ambition be known. I didn't think there was any harm because everyone has ambition, right? Everyone wants to be the #1 station, right? Otherwise, why play at all?

Letting my PD and Regional guy know, constantly, that I was going to take my station to #1- was a mistake- Against all logic, it WAS a mistake because the last thing they wanted was for that to actually happen! I, unwittingly, got myself fired for wanting to succeed. What a mInd-job man...

Re: Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:01 pm
by meyersmike
Jeepers man...move on! Posting at 4:05am? Drama.

Maybe you were let go because you were a pain in the ass.

Re: Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:09 am
by CarterManGod
I'm sorry douche bag, at what time would it be best, for you, for me to post? No, really, I was put on this Earth to please you. If you'd like, I guess I could let you choose the topics I speak about too..?

This thread has Golden Information in it. Something it took me six years to learn in this business. Something of incredible value to ANYONE trying to make a career in radio. There me be a teeny, tiny chance that someone else may not have this information and appreciate learning. You would be (but obviously already are) a complete idiot not to absorb the lesson offered in this thread. Maybe if I posted it at 9:45 or 11:32 you'd have been more apt to heed it's warning...

Drama? You work, presumably, in the entertainment industry... and you have a problem with... Drama..? Enough said, I think. Please offer more pearls of wisdom, Sir, but if you can, try to keep it between the hours of 12-6. Thanks.

(Note to self : Come up with new word for ignorant douche bag-)

Re: Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:00 am
by KaseyKruz
CarterManGod wrote:(Note to self : Come up with new word for ignorant douche bag-)
Uninformed feminine cleansing device...

Re: Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:19 am
by CarterManGod
That'll do nicely, but I was thinking more along the lines of: Idiot Vagina Baster!

Re: Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:12 am
by thecheese
I'd go with douche nozzel.

This guy takes the time to relate his real life experience, and along comes professor pencil wood to piss on his parade with an insightful observation about the time of day.

Perhaps neither douche bag nor nozzle accurately describe him.. they actually serve a purpose.

Ass boil.

That's probably more like it.

Re: Always wondered-never had the guys to ask...

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:13 am
by spokesgoddess
I have to ask, too..."so?" I mean, the more I think about it, the demos are different and thus your bonus (if you're lucky to get one) isn't really affected. Just your ego, right? I'm not saying it's right, but then I don't have a head for business, I'm here cuz I love it. But unless they specifically say they're hiring you to bring the numbers up or tell you that's what they expect...what does it matter if the suits love you? This business has always been fickle and in a lot of cases totally bizarre the reasoning I've gotten for certain company actions over the years. But it still begs the what?